From the News Journal:
Both research and anecdotal evidence show that many students and adults don’t understand how the American political system works and consider politics irrelevant to their lives. They don’t follow the state and federal government in the news, they don’t attend meetings or debates, and they don’t vote.
Could that be because we are not teaching them? Could that be because parents are more content letting their kids play the latest video game rather than talk about news and politics at the dinner table?
Two new studies released this month say the nation’s colleges and universities are ideally positioned to reverse the trend. The researchers behind those studies say today’s college students — who grew up amid the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and closely contested presidential elections in 2000 and 2004 — are more engaged in their communities and feel a greater responsibility to become politically active.
But students don’t get involved because they are frustrated and turned off by the partisan and confrontational politics they see reported on television and in the news, according to a new report by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. The report, released on Election Day, was based on focus groups with students at 21 colleges.
Now this just pisses me off to no end. Are we raising a whole generation of wimps, afraid of debate and confrontation, afraid to fight for their beliefs? They are turned off by partisan politics??? “Partisan politics????” Those two words are synonyms! What do they expect politics to consist of? A place adorned with flowers where everyone is nice to each other, and where no one disagrees? Perhaps the up and coming generation would feel more comfortable in a dictatorship, where literally everyone has to agree! Perhaps there they would not be confronted with confrontation and debate!
I do not mean to pick on the college kids, for theirs is a sentiment that I have seen expressed by your average middle aged low information voter. They are turned off by politics (and hence do not vote) because of the partisan bickering. I am sorry, but when you take several groups of people, all of whom have a different ideology or opinion on what our nation’s priorities and goals should be, you are going to have partisan bickering. You are going to have debate. You are going to have confrontation. It is called democracy! And it is scary as hell that our young people, and many average voters find democracy to be a turn off!